Building a better business in ten steps

Step 7: Get someone independent to hold you to account

Step 7 is all about accountability.

There’s only one way to ensure that the actions you commit to get done – give someone nagging rights to follow you up. 

Let’s think about how 99% of people approach their New Year’s resolutions each year; they start with the ones they didn’t achieve last year!  Similarly, if you set a goal to go to the gym regularly, simply having a gym membership will not be enough.  Most personal trainers are primarily there to make sure that their clients show up.  Without a personal trainer it would be easier to put off a gym session and justify the decision with a below the line excuse.

So, who are the best people to hold you to account?  Again, using the sports analogy, do successful teams want hard coaches or soft coaches?  The answer is obvious.  It’s the same in business.

We all need someone who has the backbone to hold us firmly to account; to dish out consequences to us for any failure to act. 

A life partner or friend (most often!) won’t be hard enough on us.  They’ll be more likely to let us off because they don’t want to upset us.  On the other hand, a hard coach is not so much worried about upsetting us in the short term.  They’re simply being a stand for us achieving the results we say we want to achieve, which in the long term will make us much happier.

Great coaches demonstrate more than backbone.  They also demonstrate heart; that is they care that we achieve the goals we’ve set.  That’s not to say they’re soft; quite the contrary.  But their approach is all about what we need to do to achieve the goal we have set.

Who do you use as an accountability coach?  Make sure you select someone with that essential backbone and heart. Your accountant could well be the exact person you need for this role!

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